British Columbia

B.C. bear scales 3-storey building for tomatoes

A black bear in Whistler, B.C., was so intent on eating a few tomatoes growing in a window box that he climbed a three-storey building to get them.
A black bear in Whistler, B.C., was so intent on getting at a few tomatoes growing in a window box that he climbed a three-storey condominium building to get them.

The bear made the climb Thursday morning as a stunned resident of the Whistler Creekside condominium complex on Gondola Way scrambled to get his video camera to record the feat.

The bear used his claws and teeth to get a grip on the vinyl siding, working his way up the corner of the building to a third-floor balcony where he plundered the small crop of tomatoes.

On the way up, he encountered second-floor resident Vickie Jensen, who was busy painting her condo.

"I came out on the porch to get some paint supplies, and there was a bear," said Jensen. "He was on his way up to the third floor."

Jensen said she quickly got off the balcony and watched the animal from behind her sliding glass door.

"I was flabbergasted to see he could climb three storeys," she said.

"It tells you, these bears have incredible senses of smell if they can smell tomatoes … growing three flights up."

The bear used its teeth and claws to dig into the vinyl siding to scale the building. ((CBC))
Bird seed and garbage are usually what gets bears going to extraordinary lengths, said Christine Miller, of the North Shore Bear Society in Vancouver.

"They are like humans — different tastes," Miller said. "Maybe this one just has a taste for tomatoes."

She said one of the first things bears learn to do is to climb trees for food and safety and that Thursday's incident in Whistler was a good  example of why almost nothing edible and exposed is safe from bears right now.

The bear wandered off after making his way down the side of the building without incident.